Natureversus Nurture Concept and Debate
Thedebate of nature versus nurture still exists up to date. It isphilosophical, cultural, and scientific, and it seeks to investigatewhether human behavior, culture, or personality are caused by nurtureor nature. It is concerned to the extent to which some these aspectsare products of acquired (learned) or inherited (genetic)characteristics. Psychologists associate nature with hormone-based orgenetic behaviors and nurture with experience and environment.
Accordingto Tabery(23),genes and biological factors such as genetic inheritance influencenature. Genes determine the personality and physical traits of anindividual, which remain the same regardless of where the person isborn and raised. For instance, curly or straight hair, the color ofthe eyes, skin pigmentation, and among others are naturecharacteristics. On the other hand, environmental and social factorssuch as social norms, culture, childhood experiences, and educationinfluence nurture. However, nurture and nature are inseparable.According to Tabery(25),some genes cannot be achieved without certain environmental factors,and vice versa.
Anearly childhood professional refers to individuals who deal withyoung children below the age of eight years and their families. Theyinclude daycare workers, nannies, early childhood consultants,educational assistants, social workers, school, and regionaladministrator. They devote their time and life to promote the social,emotional, cognitive, education, and motor skills development ofyoung children.
TheRole of the Educator as a Professional When WorkingWith Learners, Families, and Colleagues
Thereare many roles of the early childhood educators as professionals whenworking with learners, families, and colleagues. Firstly, they assessthe developmental stages and needs of young children in all domains.They support learning by providing materials and engaging inactivities that children find interesting. They supply children withappealing materials, sufficient time to explore, as well as makelearning easy and enjoyable by interacting and play with them. Rodd(102) states that it is the responsibility of an early childhoodeducator to nurture growth of a child in all aspects of developmentincluding physical, cognitive, emotional, and social.
Secondly,they design curriculum to address the stages of development, needs,and interest of children. According to Rodd (102), they compose astrict schedule and daily routine such as eating lunch and snacks,washing hand, going to the washroom, as well as participating inco-curriculum activities that children follow. This helps children tobe always occupied and productive and to operate in a structuredenvironment. Further, early childhood educators develop a programthat incorporates unstructured outside play and rest.
Thirdly,they plan for programs and activities that are essentials fordevelopment in children. It is their responsibility to plan andimplement lessons where learning should occur through structuredexperience and play to develop children’s motor, social, andlanguage skills. They plan lessons that allow exploration.
Fourthly,they develop and maintain a healthy social and emotional learningenvironment for young children. They inspect children learningenvironment for hazards and ensures all materials and equipment aresafe. They repair or remove any item that may be a threat tochildren. Moreover, they foster for a safe and comfortable atmosphereby giving their learners encouraging words so that they can be atease with their surroundings.
Lastly,they offer age-appropriate discipline and supervision. When a childmisbehaves, they give a firm but a fair punishment. Since they arewith kids most of the time, they observe their behaviors and presentreports to the parents and guardians occasionally. They also plan forparent conferences whereby they discuss the daily progress of thechildren.
TheRole of the Educator as Advocate on Behalf ofChildren
Aschildren advocator, early childhood educators raise awareness aboutthe significance of early care and education. They push politiciansto support and pass policies that benefit young children. Theyinvestigate personal and social challenges that prevent parents andthe society from fostering a healthy development in children. Inreturn, they seek ways to deal with them by either changing theirpractices or changing policies at national or local level. Further,they come up with initiatives that develop a comprehensive system ofpolicies, programs, and services that cater the needs of youngchildren, as well as their families (Rodd 105). Lastly, they protectchildren from harm and ensure they have access services that arebeneficial to their lives such as childcare, proper parenting, andeducation. They also come up with prevention programs and systems tominimize child abuse.
Methodsfor Assessing Student Understanding from Birth to Age 5/Pre-K and Kto Age 8/Grade 3 Children
Childrenbelow five years are commonly assessed through informal methods.These include observation, anecdotal record, checklists, event andtime sampling, rating scale, and portfolio. An early childhoodeducator may look a child in a systematic way, identify his or herbehaviors, document performance, and then make decisions.Additionally, the instructor may write down a description of achild’s behavior during a particular event or time to identify howa child behaves respectively (Wortham,Sue, and Belinda 112).Moreover, checklists and portfolios are used to determine the childskills and knowledge, as well as document any achievement over aspecified period. However, formal methods are used to assess childrenbetween the age of five and eight. For instance, paper and penciltests are used to evaluate their acquisition of concepts andknowledge. Additionally, oral reports and interviews are useful toassess their performance prior, during, and after an experience.Baseline and embedded assessments are used access their priorknowledge and in the context of learning. However, all children canlearn, and indeed, they do so. This is in regardless of the gradesthey attain.
TheRole of Technology in the Education of Young Children
Technologyplays a vital role in the education of young children. Snyder(200) believes computers are essential for the development ofchildren above three years old. Active learners can maneuver avariety of objects, and in the process learn about the environmentand themselves. Further, the interactive technology improveschildren’s thinking and problem-solving skills. It plays a dynamicand influential role in enhancing a quality childhood experience. Itintroduces new opportunities for teaching and learning. According toa survey conducted by National Association for the Education of YoungChildren in 2012, technology has a positive impact on early childhoodprograms (Snyder210).It is essential for individualized learning and for documentingchildren’s learning. Further, the research shows that active andappropriate use of technology extends the traditional approach ofteaching in a valuable way. For instance, children manipulatedifferent shapes with a greater skillfulness by use of a computerthan hands.
TheImportance of Environment to Teaching and Learning for Birth to Age5/Pre-K and K to Age 8/Grade 3 Children
Wood(12) states that environment plays a significant role in teaching andlearning of young children. It assists learners to feel comfortableand confident. Additionally, it improves their performance andreduces anxiety. From birth, a child has a rapid brain growth hence,environment plays a great role its development. It helps children togrow into responsible adults. It improves their critical thinkingskills. Besides, it cultivates caring and ignites learning. Further,environment also has health benefits. Wood (12) found that childrenwho are exposed to play areas and school grounds that have diversenatural setting are more creative, physically active, civil to oneanother, and are aware of proper nutrition. For those children whoare at school, from five to eight years, the environment is importantto them, as well as to their teachers. The emotional environmentcreates a positive learning atmosphere where children feel safe andsecure. On the other hand, physical environment sends the impressionto learners and affects how they receive instructions. Wallsdecoration and light colors are welcoming.
Earlychildhood education is important to every individual. It offerschildren a solid beginning in all aspect of their developmentincluding cognitive, social, language, motor, emotional and physical.It also prepares them to be successful in the future. Further, itgives a valuable support to the families and those living with youngchildren. Therefore, it is important to understand its significance,as well as ensure its quality and accessibility.
Rodd,Jillian. Leadershipin early childhood.McGraw-Hill Education (UK), 2012.
Snyder,Patricia, et al. "Characterizing key features of the earlychildhood professional development literature." Infants& Young Children 25.3(2012): 188-212.
Tabery,James. Beyondversus: The struggle to understand the interaction of nature andnurture.MIT Press, 2014.
Wood,Suzie. "Creating inspiring early childhoodenvironments." EducatingYoung Children: Learning and Teaching in the Years 21.1(2015): 12.
Wortham,Sue C., and Belinda J. Hardin. Assessmentin early childhood education.Pearson, 2015.